Vintage Stereo Receivers ~ Tuners ~ Amps

Kenwood KR-6600
Kenwood KR-6600

Kenwood KR-6600 receiver

('76-'77) 60W x 2 $275

Obtained from the original owner who purchased it new in 1976, this vintage beauty was second from the TOTL in power...the KR-6600 is a jewel of vintage history.  

Capable of handling 2 turntables, 3 pairs of speakers and, by removing the jumpers, it makes a fantastic preamp.

The 6600 has a double protection system which offers complete output stage protection as well as loudspeaker isolation; Acoustic controls provide +6dB at 50 Hz and 800 Hz.  

In excellent cosmetic and working condition with all thirteen lamps lighting up the face with many colors.

Bias and DC offset have been set.  

In a low light room it is very cool to just simply look at as well as listen to its excellent sound stage.  

The KR-6600 is one of those receivers that has nothing but glowing reviews from those who have been lucky enough to own one.  

Kenwood KR-7600
Kenwood KR-7600

Kenwood KR-7600

(1977) 70 WPC (partial recap)   NFS (display only)

The KR-7600 was actually their top of the line receiver when it came out in 1976 but was later topped by the KR-9600  Regardless, the 7600 was at the higher end of the performance spectrum.

Conservatively rated at 70 watts per channel, it's build quality is very good as it was produced just before Kenwood started cutting some production corners in the late 70's.

The amplifier board and power supply board on this KR-7600 have been recapped along with some problematic transistors on the power board.

This one has the very nice original walnut case that adds so much beauty and value to an already amazing piece of vintage history.

The KR-7600's tuner is excellent as were many of the Kenwood tuner sections. While the KR-9600 is considered one of the "holy grail" receivers for Kenwood collectors, many who use their receiver every day prefer the KR-7600 because the output transistors can still be found while those in the KR-9600 are virtually impossible to find. If they go out in the KR-9600 then you suddenly have a large doorstop instead of a receiver.

One of the unique features of the KR-7600 is the mic input. You can hook up a mic and sing along with the music that is playing. The Sound Inject knob allows you to control the volume of the mic relative to the music.

About Kenwood (Trio)...

Established in 1946 as the Kasuga Radio Co. Ltd. in Komagane City, Japan, in 1960 the company was renamed Trio Corporation. In 1963 the first overseas office was founded in Los Angeles.  In the early 1960s, Trio's products were rebranded by the Lafayette Radio Co with a focus on CB radio.

An importer of Japanese-made electronics Radio Shack (Realistic, Tandy Corp) was A&A Trading Co., and a bilingual Japanese-speaking manager from there established a company that would be the exclusive importer of Trio products.

The name Kenwood was invented by Kasuga as being the combination of "Ken", a name common to Japan and North America that had been tested and proven acceptable to American consumers in the name of Kenmore appliance (Sears) \, and "Wood", referring to the durable substance as well as suggesting a relation to Hollywood. The brand recognition of Kenwood eventually surpassed that of Trio's, and in 1986 Trio bought Kenwood and renamed itself Kenwood. Eventually, Kenwood merged with JVC in 2008 as JVC/Kenwood.



Harman Kardon HK-560
Harman Kardon HK-560

Harman Kardon HK560 receiver

 (1979) 40 WPC  $200 (reduced)

Here's a cool vintage stereo receiver you don't see very often from Harman Kardon, a long standing, well-known and storied company.  Although made in Japan, it was designed and engineered by Harman Kardon in Plainview, New York”. 

Introduced in 1979, the HK-560 is a DC coupled ultrawideband receiver yielding a conservative 40 watts per channel.  

It features a 3-position tape monitor with LED, center detent on bass, treble and balance, subsonic filter (12db/octave) tape copy facility, tone control defeat switch and a phono preamp with excellent dynamic range and square wave response.  

Capable of handling two pairs of speakers with built-in circuit breaker speaker protection on the rear.  There are more features to this little powerhouse but, to spice it up, we retrofitted it with a nice rosewood veneer case! (the original metal case is included)
The HK-560 was second only to the top-of-the-line HK-670 and these were the last of the true analog receivers from HK.
One of the design features is also a nice touch...a green LED on the tuner pointer lights when FM station is properly tuned.  All the array of selector buttons have LEDs in each one to add some color when lit up. 
Input selector/connections for: AM; FM; Phono; 2 Tape Decks; Aux and 2 pairs of speakers.

About Harman Kardon...
Harman Kardon's first audio products were more high style than high-tech, with easily removable faceplates available in a variety of designer colors as their principal selling point. But it wasn't long before Sidney Harman hired Stu Hegeman as HK's head designer and, the products they are most famous for the Award Series and Citation line of kits and factory assembled separates was born.
In the late 70's the "new" handsome components were designed, built and tested with the understandings that went far beyond conventional ideas about distortion and the factors that make one component sound better than another.  HK considered the integrated series such as the HK-560 (described above) to be the most musically accurate components ever devised.  That's quite a statement!



Onkyo TX-5000
Onkyo TX-5000

Onkyo TX-5000 receiver

(1979) 65 WPC    $265

The Onkyo TX-5000 was the culmination of all the previous greatly built receivers from Onkyo in the late 70's (TX-4500MKii, 6500MKii, etc) and was described as a "Super-servo, linear switching amplifier with perfected quartz-locked digital/analog tuning convenience". They put in the most advanced amp circuitry and greatest tuning accuracy available at the time.  

Today, the TX-5000 is living comfortably "under the radar" while the earlier TX units get most of the glory but, the truth is, except for the hard to find TX-7000, the TX-5000 is the best of the series, bar none.  

Rated at 65 watts per channel, online bench tests yield closer to 78 watts per channel. Designed to run two turntables, 2 pairs of speakers and two tape/aux ouputs, the TX-5000 is a powerful anchor for just about any stereo system.

At 33 lbs and 21" wide, it's a large receiver but the slimmer chassis (compared to the earlier versions) doesn't add a lot of bulk, and it's beautiful.  The well known "industrial type" design of the front face is continued with the wide and thick piece of real glass held in place by four hex bolts. The trademark rosewood veneer on metal case also continued the tradition of the well-respected TX series.

The much improved digital tuning section has an accurate LED window that matches perfectly to the analog dial pointer. By the late 70's and early 80's these "hybrid" digital/analog receivers were pretty much perfected.  

These were the last of the analog units from Onkyo because pure digital was right around the corner.

Onkyo TX-2500 MKii
Onkyo TX-2500 MKii

Onkyo TX-2500 MKii receiver

('78-'81)  40 WPC  $235

The Onkyo TX 2500 MKII was the second of the 4 receiver Onkyo range from 1978-80 and was an upgraded version of its predecessor the TX-2500.  They redesigned the entire dial glass section and bumped the power up from 27 watts per channel to a minimum 40 watts per channel.
Upgraded with all new LEDs and in pristine cosmetic condition this TX-2500 MKii is a stunner when all lit up.
Onkyo had a reputation for building quality tuners. The fm tuner in the 2500MKii is a phase-locked loop (PLL) with nice meters for signal strength and center, and 3 lamps: locked, tuned and stereo.  As is the case with almost all of these series, these 3 lamps can be a pain because they often burn out quickly (even after replacing).  Regardless of that known issue, the tuning section performs flawlessly.
The phono section is just flat out awesome on these TX-receivers.
Like most of the medium powered receivers of the '70s, the TX-2500 MKii sounds very good when just a bit of care is taken with the choice of speakers. These 30-50 "watters" seems to occupy the sonic sweet spot, with a bit more slam than their lesser brethren, but without some of the complications that can creep into a bigger box. 
Simpler is often better.

more info coming soon...
Onkyo TX-4500MKii
Onkyo TX-4500MKii

Onkyo TX 4500 MKII receiver

(1980) 65 WPC  $275

This was the first stereo receiver with quartz-synchronization for the FM band.  Even though its predecessor, TX-4500 was a successful Onkyo upper middle class receiver, Onkyo decided to redesign the 4500 so the MKii version was optimized.  Upgraded components packed into the same chassis resulted in an additional 10 watts more than the first version and was rated at a conservative (and honest) 65 watts per channel.  
And, for the display scale, they used real, thick glass. With its already desirable industrial design, this was an added expression of timeless elegance. 

It's a heavy receiver with solid high power, enough to drive 3 pairs of speakers.  It also has inputs for two turntables and three tape/aux inputs. The trademark look of this series, the rosewood veneer on metal along with the four hex bolts holding the front glass, gives it a industrial "top shelf" appeal.

Onkyo was so pleased with the overall success of the TX-4500MKii that, out of the hundreds of products they designed all that time,  it was the featured receiver on their print sheets for their 70th Anniversary.

About Onkyo...

The word Onkyo translates as "sound harmony".  Starting out in 1946, Osaka Denki ONKYO K.K. is established and begins manufacturing phonograph pickups. The CP-1000 turntable was the first product to bear the ONKYO brand.  They also manufactured integrated stereo systems throughout the years but they majored in turntables, early amps, preamps, stereo receivers and also the cassette tape format beginning in 1981 with the TA-W800, the world's first high-speed dubbing, double-cassette tape deck with a wide variety of tape-editing functions.
They hit their high mark in the late 70's with the TX-xxxx series of stereo receivers, tuners and amps.  Onkyo kept pace with, and in some ways exceeded, the strong competition from Pioneer, Sansui, Marantz, Optonica, etc.  The stereo wars of the 70's yielded so many great products and Onkyo is right there with the best of them.
Today, Onkyo is still a global brand and their Integra series is well respected.



Concept 6.5
Concept 6.5

Concept 6.5 

('75-'78) 65 WPC  $400

We love to find excellent, rare equipment...especially when they are as nice as this absolutely pristine Concept 6.5.

This unit has a recapped tone board and ALL the *push-button selectors have been painstakingly and thoroughly cleaned for static-free operation.

The Concept 6.5 is a heavy duty, well designed receiver known for it great bass control, sound stage presentation and a very accurate tuner, The direct-coupled power amplifier section uses high gain voltage amplification with rugged output transistors for a stabilized, high speed configuration. A large toroidal power transformer supplies enough power for the most demanding musical peaks.

Unlike most comparable receivers in this class, the 6.5 has outputs for 3 pairs of speakers. Also, the ability to use the 6.5 as either a stand-alone amplifier or preamplifier is easily done by removing the jumpers on the back.

As with all the Concept receivers, the 6.5 has their trademark design elements:

~Solid block switches with individual colored LEDs to indicate they are in use...

~unique flexible tone controls, the bass / treble outer controls for mid-bass and mid-treble...and the inner controls for fine tuning extreme bass and treble...also a tone control switch to set the unit at laboratory flat response...

~Beautiful rosewood veneer case.We also installed all new LEDs for the front glass illumination.

*NOTE: One of the very few known issues about Concept receivers is the difficulty in cleaning the spring-activated pushbutton controls. They are literally buried deep and require a lot of patience and careful handling. Take our word for it, it takes hours to accomplish this task and it's already done. They should now be just fine for many years...

About Concept... 

Recognized universally as some of the very best stereo receivers ever made, the Concept receivers circuitry was designed in-house, by Dick Schram, at Pacific Stereo (late 70's California). Tom Ishimoto, former product development manager of Marantz, also had a hand in building some of the Concept line at NEC of Japan. The bulk of the manufacturing was done by TCE, an electronics manufacturing division of Tandy Corp. (Tandy was the parent company of U.S. electronics retail chain Radio Shack). A lot of effort was made in upgrading the Concept design capabilities, and TCE's production techniques at the time were described as "terrific". Several other manufacturers were considered for the Concept receivers, but, as far as Schram was concerned, TCE was by far the best. They had gifted engineers who were excited to work on some REAL hi-fidelity audio products and became very loyal to him during the entire process. The Concept credo was "better quality parts, operated with more margin of safety, superior circuits and no shortcuts" - that's why they last so long and still sound as good today.

More about Pacific Stereo (and Concept...)

We (Cherry Vintage Audio) have great memories of working at Pacific Stereo in the late 60's/early 70's when they were only 3 stores (California: San Francisco, Berkeley and Walnut Creek). Later on, the company was bought by CBS and expanded nationwide.

The Concept line of stereo receivers were offered by Pacific Stereo as their top tier house brands. (in order, top to bottom: Concept, Reference by Quadraflex, Quadraflex and TransAudio) The top of the line was the Concept 16.5 (165 watts per channel, considered by many to be the best stereo receiver ever made!). Basically, when a customer went into a Pacific Stereo store looking for Pioneer, Sansui, Kenwood, etc, the salesman would steer them toward one of the "house" brands, the best of which were the Concepts.  



Fisher RS-2004A
Fisher RS-2004A

Fisher RS-2004A  receiver

(1980) 45 WPC  $220 (pristine)

First off, consider the rated 45 watts per channel, very conservative.

In reality, some of the Fisher 2004A receivers have been bench tested to yield close to 60 watts per channel when running correctly and this one is definitely running correctly.

A superior build by Sanyo unit during the Sanyo-Fisher era, the 2004A is a beast in disguise.  

This one is in pristine cosmetic and working condition...inside and out.

Up front, instead of the usual bass/treble controls, the 2004A has five sliders for equalization of the entire sonic range.

The industrial design of the faceplate is nicely balanced by four green backlit meters all working as they should.

The 2004A is squarely in the middle of the pack for the RS series with the very rare RS-2015 at 150 watts per channel being the big daddy.

Solid chunks of aluminum block switches and knobs combined with the built-in equalizer set this unit apart from the competition in its class.

The faceplate, knobs, sliders and switches are flawless and the beautiful walnut veneer case is the same...perfect.

*Note: The Fisher "Studio Standard" series were developed by Sanyo after they took over the flailing Fisher brand in the 70's.  Of course, in the very early years, the name "Fisher" was synonymous with high fidelity leadership since the 60's when Avery Fisher turned the audio world on its ear with his early tube units (like the famous Fisher 500C and others).  Alas, all things must end, Avery Fisher sold his company and, over the years, the brand has both flourished (to some) and floundered (to others).  It's generally agreed that most of the Studio Standard gear made by Sanyo (from the mid-70's to early 80's) is well made.  For example, the Fisher RS-2010 (100 WPC) and the monster Fisher RS-2015 (150 WPC) made by Sanyo are two incredibly well made and respected receivers.



Sony TA-1150
Sony TA-1150

Sony TA-1150 integrated amp 

('73-'76)  30 WPC  $285

This nicely appointed Sony TA-1150 control (integrated) stereo amplifier was obtained from the original owner.  It is in excellent cosmetic and working condition.  This series from Sony is recognized as some of their best ever and has a strong collector following.

its Features include:
preamp in / power amp out (this preamp/power amp in/out is controlled by the Normal/Separate switch and separates the onboard preamp from the amplifier allowing the input to go straight to the amplifier stage) 

~center channel output *(the center channel output was available to be used to "fill the hole" in the middle of the front stage of the stereo L/R pair when the speakers were separated more than 10' or so.  This center channel output comes off the feed to the speakers from the amp but is dropped though a resistor, similar to the headphone output only not separated.) 

Note: Like many other amplifiers in the early 70's, the Sony TA-1150 was built as "four channel ready". Basically, you can treat the inputs that say four channel like another tape monitor or adapter loop.  

Copied from "The Vintage Knob" website:
"Although the TA-1150 looks more gimmicky than its TA-1130 elder, thanks to its linear vertical volume slider, it is in fact a step further into full 1970s engineering (even 1980s if one considers the power transistors that were used).

DC-coupled, SEPP-OTL, balanced differential power supply, DC preamp section with complementary low-noise transistors in each EQ and tone amplifiers. And the eight power transistors themselves aren't the usual bulky TO-3 boxes but modern devices which could fit onto the heat sinks of a Marantz SM-80 in 1972 !

Feature-wise, the Sony TA-1150 was well endowed, even going as far as integrating 4-CH compatibility (by way of a dedicated loop), allowing the separation of the pre and power sections (by way of another dedicated loop) and keeping the "center" output that was on the original 1965 ES TA-2000 and which the TA-1130 didn't have...
The rest is more common : plenty of sources, low & high filters, turnover frequencies for the bass/treble controls etc. All steel and aluminium - no plug-in cards but built like almost everything still was then : sound & solid.

The TA-1150 sold amazingly well all over the planet, along its dedicated ST-150 tuner.
Variants of the TA-1150 are the TA-1140 (depending on market) and a later TA-5150D which added minor circuit revisions in 1974 - the worldwide TA-1150 probably is the equivalent of that TA-1150D. 
Gradually replacing this very successful series was the 1st V-FET generation in 1974, then the "new world" TA-F80 in 1978.

Marketing-wise, the TA-1150 was part of Sony's first 'all together' system : the well-known Listen 5. There was no Listen 3 because, at that higher price point, serious audiophiles don't buy all-in-one packs - however good !"

About Sony...

Nothing to say here, everybody know about Sony...



Zenith MC-7051
Zenith MC-7051

Zenith MC-7051 receiver

(1981) 40W x 2  $200

This Zenith MC-7051 receiver is a solid and well built unit, one of the most sought after of all the vintage Zenith longer "under the radar" either.  

Extremely well made with components that rival the best of "the other guys", this good looking receiver has a very light gold tint on the faceplate and a very clean, straightforward design up front.  

It's heavy too, with an oversized transformer and excellent power supply.

This is a great receiver with a beautiful design, walnut veneer case and designer knobs/switches.
Originally, these Zenith receivers were built to Zenith' specs by *Samsung in Korea.  It was a secret back when it was being designed and when it was released, it was a little late in the game.  Digital was closing in on the analog market so these were only around for a year or two.Besides, most people associated Zenith with televisions and it didn't seem plausible they could build a receiver that could compete with the famous names. they are rare and sought after.  There's a reason why...

About Zenith (receivers)...

Zenith probably built (arguably) the best TVs there were for many years, and in the golden age of radio among the best radios to be had. However, stereo was never a big thing for them- they tended to keep to the lower end of things- they'd rather compete with GE or Magnavox rather than Marantz or Pioneer. Nothing wrong with that since people generally bought Zenith through brand loyalty or brand recognition, and keeping the audio products simple and low-priced made them easier for your average TV salesman to sell. As mentioned above, the Zenith stereo receivers, while very well built, entered the market way too late to have an impact. The top of the line MC-7051 (40 WPC), the 7040 and 7030 receivers were generally praised as a "surprisingly good" pieces of equipment (especially the 7051) and have steadily risen in value over the years. These receivers were some of the last era of Zenith products before they left the audio field and concentrated on TV production exclusively and VCR decks.



Realistic STA-84 system
Realistic STA-84 system

Realistic STA-84 system

(1977) 25 WPC  $175 complete

(price includes two pairs of Realistic speakers)

Originally sold at Radio Shack in 1977 for a whopping $300 in 1977, the STA-84 receiver made a big splash with the introduction of the "Auto-Magic FM Tuning" feature.

It's also capable of 4-channel effect sound while in stereo mode with the "Quatravox" connection.

Pretty cool stuff in '77 and still cool today. The real walnut veneer case and silver face with green lights is pure 70's vintage.

Included is a pair of Realistic Minimus 25 and pair of MC-800 speakers. Again, real walnut veneer on both pairs and pretty darn good sound all around.

This would make an excellent beginner vintage system at a very affordable price. Add a turntable and you've got a great deal!

About Realistic (Radio Shack, Tandy Corp)...

Realistic branded vintage stereo gear is all over the place. Some of it is right up there in quality with the best of Pioneer, Sansui, etc. Also, some of it is just...ok. Their best era was during the 70's when they successfully competed head-to-head with all the big names in high fidelity. They sourced practically all their products from Japan and sometimes had the exact same components inside their gear as the competition but at a much lower price. 



Sony HP-510A receiver, turntable and speakers
Sony HP-510A receiver, turntable and speakers

Sony HP-510A receiver & Scott PS-59 turntable & upgraded Zenith speakers 

$150 complete system

Fully operational combo setup including Sony HP-510A receiver (1970) complete with HH Scott PS-59 belt drive semi-auto turntable and pair of upgraded Zenith "Circle of Sound" omni-directional speakers.

The Zenith speakers have been painstakingly retrofit them with very nice Paradigm Mini-monitor V2 components (complete with the Paradigm crossovers) and banana plug connections with a bass port on the bottom.  

A full description of the speakers can be found on the "Speaker Systems #1" page of the website.